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Chapitre D'ouvrage Année : 2011

The Production of Success : an Anti-Musicology of the Pop Song

Antoine Hennion


At the heart of the frenetic activity of the record industry and of all the conflictin opinion to which this activity gives rise, lies a common goal: popular success. This also provides the key to the paradoxes one encounters when one studies the economic aspects of the record industry in France. What does the achievement of success involve in actual fact ? Economic, sociological and musicological analyses tend to evade this issue rather than explain it. Can the ability to achieve success be attributed to a more or less innate sixth sense ? Does it reside in the superiority of the smaller producers over the larger ones ? Is success achieved through bribery, through massive 'plugging', through a dulling of the senses or through conformism, as the ritual claims of the press would have it ? Is it a by-product or profit, of standardisation, of alienation or of the prevailing ideology, as marxists argue ? The sociology of mass media and culture explains it in an equally wide variety of ways (...).

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hal-00771917 , version 1 (09-01-2013)


  • HAL Id : hal-00771917 , version 1


Antoine Hennion. The Production of Success : an Anti-Musicology of the Pop Song. Brian Moeran, Ana Alacovska. Creative Industries: Critical Readings, Berg Publishers, pp.159-193, 2011, vol. III-5: Cultural Theory 17. ⟨hal-00771917⟩
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